2/15 (Part 1)

2/15 (Part 1)

Continued from 2/14


As the sun began to set, it was time to prepare to meet with The Witch. 

Everything in my bones could sense the weight of this night. 

My guides, teachers, guardians, and even dreams, had all spoken to me directly about this meeting. As if everything in the past 2 months (and especially 3-4 years) was connected to tonight’s meeting. 

My instinct kept referring to it as “Final Hearth” 

And that felt foreboding. 

So, before returning to meet with the Witch,
and after going through all of the preparations
only according to my intuition and my guides,
I go The Teacher before I exit, as is my custom,
to seek instruction and any other orders.

I place my hand, palm open, flat upon his breast with fingers spread.

I look him in the eyes, and pray the prayer my own ears heard me pray, 1 year ago, when I was brave and connected with Him in this way for the first time and did not hinder my mouth from speaking:

“O Sacred Heart now beating,
beat Thou forever in mine.” 

And it all comes rising back
and (every time)
I remember her
in the hammock
my hand upon her chest
in this exact same way
I watched myself do it
uncomfortable to see
what my arm was doing
almost as if on its own
looking into her eyes
and breathing,
just like this,
JUST. Like. This. 

I look up at him. 

“Any instructions before final hearth?” I ask Him. 

And The Teacher told to me: “Ask the iChing, and follow. Just like you follow Me.”

Campfire sparks rising in his eyes like fireflies.

So I ask.

And the answer is given:


(with a changing line on Line 3)

And so, with Him looking on and watching,
I go to the book and discover the meaning.


54: Kui Mei
“The Marrying Maiden”


Zong Gua (underlying cause)
53 Development: Flower

“Instinct is the bubbling of Te excited by
the prospect of your coming-to-be-real.”

Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck
leads the flock to fly and follow.
~ Chinese Proverb

Kuei Mei or the “Marrying Maiden” (Propriety) is about subordinating the will or the need to accept what cannot be changed. You may find yourself in a suspended situation because of changes another is going through or events beyond your control.

At the same time a sudden turn of events can place you in a very unfamiliar environment where you have no experience to draw upon. You can’t do much about the situation other than wait to see how events unfold. It is not uncommon to receive this hexagram when you are seeking partnership with someone who is currently unavailable.

As the ‘second wife’ or concubine, you may be the other woman or other man. The hidden influence of “After Completion” underscores a time of waiting for some type of change or completion to sort itself out.

There is no reason to think that you cannot achieve the object of your desire. However the act of subordination is necessary and that is not an easy thing for most people. The underlying cause of “Development” showed the slow, practical steps necessary to achieve a desire.

In Kuei Mei the situation can appear or change suddenly and you are forced to adapt to uncertainty as best you can. The lines in this hexagram refer to the changes a woman faces when she marries and goes into a new home and adopts a new family.

It is not her ancestral home and she will not be immediately accepted. Propriety shows adapting to conventionally accepted standards of behavior. This means that although the situation may not be what you had hoped for, you will learn a lot about your patterns of thought, your defenses and even the wisdom that comes from allowing life to lead you into the unfamiliar.

Since it is called The Marrying Maiden, success comes after a period of testing. Often the ‘second wife’ or concubine gives birth to the heir and rises to become the ‘first wife.’ Just because you are wandering on a road you have never traveled before, don’t be dismayed. Rather than push forward willfully with demands, acquiesce and allow the situation to unfold.

Give your carved block to the Woodcarver.
Let the cutting shape your gift.


“Through progress,
one is sure to reach the place where one belongs.
Hence follows the idea of the subordinate.”

~ Hex 54, iChing

The Arousing Thunder moves over the Joyous Lake, while the nuclear trigrams reveal something profound stirring within. Before moving forward, Kuei Mei asks you to “understand the transitory in the light of the eternity at the end.” Some things will change, while other aspects remain enduring. To know the difference is something you will only discover by opening and learning from the challenges you face.

Perhaps you feel powerless to change a current situation. You may have been impetuous in actions and are now paying for it. Even while this can be a difficult time for relationships outwardly, there is much you can learn about yourself going forward.

Oftentimes we pursue what we believe we need without giving consideration to whether it is right for us. We can fail to listen or see the signs that might help us shape our desire into something lasting. This is the core of what it means to follow. We need to marry the will to the way and to the needs of others. The message of Subordinate is that you are either facing the consequences of being impetuous or are warned against acting impetuously in the future.

Like the marriage of man and wife, they are usually brought together by something other than logic: they follow their heart. However, sometimes the heart is just the bubbling of desire and need without respecting that this coming together must serve each individual. This is the difference between love and lust. In following the way, we recognize that desire must subordinate to how life guides us.

Once there was a wood carver. When he first began to carve, he gazed at the wood in front of him. After three years, he no longer saw it as a piece of wood, but as something of shape that merely required the movement necessary to give it form. In time, he no longer saw it with the eyes, but apprehended it with a different type of vision. Decision and action were simultaneously joined, and as he worked, his sense organs were always in abeyance. By conforming to the structure that led him, he carved deftly and without effort.”

Like the woodcarver, something within requires only that you allow life to carve away what keeps it hidden. When you subordinate yourself to life, you will discover that “the greatest cutting does not sever.” Life merely carves away what keeps you from being authentic and fulfilled.

The migrating bird does not follow because of the cry of the other birds. Each bird follows its own instinctual call for flight. Although you follow the shape of what you believe will become your future, your destiny is given definition in the mirror of what unfolds right now. The master said: “To understand the transitory in the eternity at the end, release the experience and hold only to the thread.” This will allow you to open to the instinctual pull of your evolutionary journey.

“Go on to the limit of emptiness: hold fast to the stability of stillness. For, all things were made by one process and they all turn back. They may flourish abundantly, but each turns and goes home to the root from which it came. Therefore, to turn back is to reclaim your destiny.” When you make peace with life, you will discover its enormous power to guide you. As if it already knows your shape, it carves away only the layers that keep you from coming-to-be-real.

“If your true nature has the creative force of Nature itself, wherever you may go, you will see fishes leaping and geese flying.” When you make yourself subordinate to the path, “the greatest cutting does not sever.” Experience always leads you back to yourself. When you follow life and return to your roots, decision and action are simultaneously joined. What is joined cannot be separated. This is the essence of a commitment to the Way. Instinct is the bubbling of Te, which connects you with the germinating power of life.

Changing Line: Line 3

The marrying maiden as a slave = forced subservience.

In this situation, powerlessness may be an issue. Either you need to take an inferior position with dignity or return to your power and reject the situation so you can achieve something better. A more fulfilling situation may be around the corner because you do not sacrifice your dignity.

Legge: The third line, magnetic, shows the young woman who was to be married off in a mean position. She returns and accepts an ancillary position.

Wilhelm/Baynes: The Marrying Maiden as a slave. She marries as a concubine.

Blofeld: From being a servant, the marriageable maiden becomes a concubine. [Again, a small advance is made, but nothing very satisfying is won.]

Liu: The marrying girl is to be a maidservant. She marries as a concubine.

Ritsema/Karcher:Converting Maidenhood: using hair-growing. Reversing Converting: using the junior-sister.

Shaughnessy:The returning maiden with consorts turns around and returns with younger sisters.

Cleary (1): When the bride-to-be seeks, it will be the little sister who is married instead.

Wu: The marrying of the young woman is being put on hold. Instead, her younger sister is married in her place.


Confucius/Legge: This is shown by the improprieties indicated in the line. Wilhelm/ Baynes: She is not yet in the appropriate place. Blofeld: Her former state is indicated by the unsuitable position of this line. Ritsema/Karcher: Not- yet appropriate indeed. Cleary (2): The bride-to-be who seeks is not right. Wu: Because her position is improper.

Legge: The third line is magnetic in a dynamic place at the top of the trigram of Frivolity. She is of so mean a character and such a slave of passion that no one will marry her. She returns and accepts the position of a concubine.


Siu: It is preferable to be a concubine rather than a slave. The inferior person enters into situations incompatible with self-esteem, in pursuit of joys that cannot be attained legitimately.

Wing: To attain your desires, it will be necessary for you to compromise your Self.

Editor: There are at least two interpretations of this line: one portrays moving from an abject position (slavery) to accept a correct, albeit still subservient role. On the other hand, the line can suggest an attempt at a union or synthesis which is unstable or premature: The imbalances within the situation cause its dynamics to be re-adjusted at a lower level than desired. An inherent instability cannot be maintained no matter how much we want it to be otherwise.

Those who do not seek release from the bondage of the instinctive drives by the road of inner development remain the slaves of their own passionate desirousness or suffer the sterility resulting from its ruthless repression. In any time of crisis these persons have no power to curb their own barbaric reactions.
M.E. Harding —Psychic Energy

A. An image of modestly improving one’s position — better a servant than a slave.

B. “You can’t always get what you want” – accept the best alternative.

C. Don’t compromise yourself.


The changing line above causes the Hexagram to change to (34) Great Power.

34: Da Zhuang
“Great Power”


Hu Gua (hidden influence)
43 – Determination: “Breakthrough”

Zong Gua (underlying cause)
20 – Contemplation: “View”

The Image

The old characters show a Great Person, the left half of a tree meaning stiff and strong and a weapon or phallus, fully adult strength and energy.

When you are steadfast in your power,
you cannot be thrown from your center.”

A suppressed resolve will betray itself in the eyes.
~ George Elliot

The Creative moves below The Thunder in an image of One who has achieved Great Power but does not yet move until certain that events call for movement. 

When exerting force, we find resistance ~ but power shows a willingness to adapt with being centered and firm. Therefore the Power of the Great is activated for those who know that the greatest strength is the ability to overcome themselves and their insecurities. 

Persisting in this outlook will lead to success. 

The hidden influence of Determination shows that a breakthrough in thinking has changed a landscape of obstacles into opportunities to prove the strength of your inner character. The underlying cause of Contemplation shows that after a period of surveying the playing field, you are ready to move forward.

Invigorate your sense of resolve because success is in sight. By restraining emotions and instincts the Power of the Great is similar to the concentration of force necessary to chop a block of wood with the hand. One remains calm and focused. The inner certainty of knowing that the hand will go through the wood without any doubt allows it to happen. Align the intention to succeed with the certainty that you will and nothing can stop you.

The thunder startles wakefulness.
A vigorous stroke self-realized in the sleeping seed.

“Things cannot retreat forever.
Hence follows the idea of the power of the great.”

Firm in openness and character, you expand inward and develop your power. This leads to greater outward movement or an opportunity to shine. The Creative is strong as it pushes upward, toward the Arousing Thunder. This union of movement and power reveals how stillness and not aggressiveness activates the power of the great.

The master said: “The meaning of the power of the great shows itself in the fact that one pauses.” Ta Chuang is another aspect of movement in stillness, where one steadfast in Te is never thrown from their center when confronting events. This is the ‘constant virtue’ that ensures that you will act benevolently. 

Mysterious virtue is far reaching, but when things turn back, it turns back with them.” What cannot be accomplished through force will be fortified through stillness. Many myths describe a hero, abandoned or separated from the parents, and forced to grow up as an ordinary child. You too, can feel abandoned and thrown into a world that does not understand you. Heeding a call from within, you embark on a great journey and ultimately discover your real identity. Although you travel across dangerous terrains in the journey of a lifetime, once you arrive, you realize that this discovery could have taken place in our backyard. Yet, the actual journey ‘out there’ had the effect of changing you ‘in here.’ It opens you to the understanding that ‘your way’ was only one way.

“If you are a valley to the empire, then the constant virtue will be sufficient.” To be a valley to the empire is to be composed and willing to bow down in every situation. Your constant virtue does not require that you defend it: it is just so.

When strength surpasses the turning point, there is a danger that one may rely on power heedless of what is right. And yet “without rightness, there can be no greatness.” You are always activating the power of attraction. Sincerity keeps your experiences real so that you have no need to defend. 

One willing to bow down or concede in the face of opposition is demonstrating ultimate power. Vigilant in te, you will find yourself on a pathway where nothing needs to be undone.

“Lay hold of this truth and you can be master of your present existence.” The germinal nature of Te blossoms from the foundation of sincerity and benevolence. 

“The penetration of germinal thought into the mind promotes the workings of the mind. When this working furthers and brings peace to life, it elevates one’s nature. Whatever goes beyond this indeed transcends all knowledge. When one comprehends nature and understands the transformations, one lifts the character to the level of the miraculous.” 

One who is on the pathway of greatness has no need to demonstrate force. Great success is how benevolence allows you to transform the obstacle into an opportunity to fortify your authentic power.

Movement in stillness becomes the image of bowing down with the knowledge of a power that cannot be threatened. This is the Power of the Great. This power does not need to be demonstrated or proven; it is always sufficient. Just as you gather and tame your passions for productive use, you compose your Te in the same way. 

Doing nothing out of the ordinary, you again achieve great movement. Success happens naturally by virtue of applying your constant Te, or character.


And so, having read the reading and knowing some serious shit was about to go down involving me and a concubine, I set my face towards the West and began my way to the woods.

Continued in 2/15 (Part 3)

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